Having antibody tests after COVID-19 vaccination is deemed unnecessary as it will only show vain results.
Medical experts suggest to the public not to get antibody tests for one’s antibody count does not accurately reflect the level of immunity to the fatal virus. In addition, they state that there are several factors to take into account, such as cellular response to begin with.
Dr. Michelle de Vera, a representative of the Philippine Society for Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, spearheads the movement of mixing brands of vaccines—a government’s study. On a briefing of the House Committee on Health on Wednesday, she asserted, “The immune system is amazingly sophisticated, so one measurement cannot totally measure the entire immune response.”
Moreover, Dr. Regina Berba, head of infectious disease control at the University of the Philippines-PGH, affirmed that there is no absolute correlation between antibody levels and vaccine’s capacity of protection. “Our countrymen who will eventually have a negative test should not have a decline in their confidence in the vaccine,” she said.
Filipino vaccine hesitancy is one of the issues hampering the country’s pandemic response. This issue is one of the many reasons inflaming the urge for antibody tests.
Lawmakers deemed this unnecessary and raised their concern regarding testing for antibodies after getting vaccinated.
Garin specified that “It’s not only an unnecessary expense, it’s also sowing a lot of confusion. Even our vaccinators are testing themselves right and left, and people are very wary: ‘Ay bakit kalahati lang sa amin ang nagpositibo? Bakit kalahati ng ospital personnel ay negatibo?’”
[Translation: Why is it that only half of us tested positive? Why is it that half of the hospital personnel resulted negative?”]
Garin then requests for the issuance of a clear statement against this from the Department of Health to make clear any confusion and stop the exacerbating vaccine hesitancy.